Has anyone used Linux Mint on their Mac hardware? (Non-virtulaized)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by chrono1081, May 9, 2013.

  1. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if anyone here has used Linux Mint on their Mac natively (and if so if you happened to know if a guide for installation).

    The reason I ask is I want to try a few 3D programs so I need a native install instead of virtualization.
  2. fortysomegeek macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    I couldn't get Mint to install due to some EFI thing. I did install Ubuntu 12.10,13.04 and simply installed Cinammon or MATE which is the Desktop environment Linux Mint uses. It is basically interchangeable between stock Ubuntu and Mint. Once Cinnamon takes over, you can't even tell it is Ubuntu anymore except when you go to console and cat /etc/lsb-release
  3. kiwigander macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011
    Mint on Mac: Yes

    Hi, sorry if it's not cool to reawaken an old thread, but I've been running Mint on my MacBook Air (4,2 late 2011 model) for some months now.

    I don't know how useful my experience will be to anyone. I had a lot of false starts trying to put a Linux distro onto the MBA and I'm sure some of them left some changes on my SSD. I had actually bought the MBA for the hardware and intended to run Linux from the very beginning but that didn't pan out.

    Ultimately I got hold of Linux Mint 14 XFCE edition and it's running mostly happily.

    Key points for the installation:

    1. I installed rEFIt in OS X and shrunk the OS X partition down to half the SSD.
    2. Stock installations of both Ubuntu and Mint quickly ground to a halt apparently because of a bug in the operation of kworker (which is something used by the kernel, not a KDE utility). The solution was

    sudo -i
    echo N> /sys/module/drm_kms_helper/parameters/poll
    echo "options drm_kms_helper poll=N">/etc/modprobe.d/local.conf

    as posted in Ubuntu forums Ubuntu > "linux" package > Bugs > Bug #887793 > Comment #30 by zzeroo (co)

    What works:
    Video: full resolution on the MBA and on the 27" Thunderbolt monitor
    I can have the MBA closed and dark and the Thunderbolt running
    Wired Ethernet via the USB-Ethernet adapter
    Wireless networking (had to install a module, can't remember which, but it was in the repository)
    Trackball (Logitech TrackMan Marble that I use when the MBA's on the desk)
    VLC and Banshee for music
    The occasional video

    What more or less works:
    Scanning (Epson Perfection Photo 2450 scanner has been problematic since day one, why should it be any different with Mint on the MBA?). Sometimes requires a few plug-unplug sequences.
    Screen backlighting (doesn't seem to respond to room illumination and boots up at full brightness but is nicely controlled by Fn-F1 and Fn-F2)
    Battery life: definitely a bit shorter than using OS X. I wonder, though, if some of that isn't application-related. Thunderbird seems to hog a lot of cycles in Linux. Sometimes the system suddenly thinks the battery is almost totally depleted and throws up a logout window, but suspend-and-resume puts the battery meter back to where it ought to be.

    What doesn't work:
    Keyboard backlight. I've installed lightum and lightum-indicator but they don't do anything; the keyboard backlight stays resolutely OFF.


    I only boot into OS X when I'm using the MBA strictly as a music source (and only sometimes then). Because of the way iTunes labelled the files from my classical CD collection, I'm still working on reorganising the collection so I can readily find the albums and compositions I want to play in VLC.

    When I'm not at the desktop I do miss the keyboard backlight but am glad to be free of OS X's irritating quirks and limitations.

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